Web3 is the latest frontier in the digital world. Also known as Web 3.0, Web3 refers to the next generation of the internet, which is based on decentralized technologies such as blockchain. Web3 aims to create a more open, transparent, and user-centric internet, where users have greater control over their data and digital identities.
Some of the critical technologies that are associated with Web3 include blockchain, decentralized applications (DApps), smart contracts, and decentralized finance (DeFi). These technologies enable the creation of decentralized networks that can be used for various purposes, such as creating decentralized marketplaces, managing digital identities, and facilitating peer-to-peer transactions.
With everything that the most recent iteration of the web offers, it is no surprise brands, celebrities, and startups are looking for ways to establish and boost their presence in the nascent space.
A ‘brand’ new way to market
Web3 creative agency and management company Metacurio fills a gap in the market by providing end-to-end solutions for talent and global brands.
Launched in 2021 by venture capitalist Jeff Hood and STX Entertainment’s Sophie Watts, Metacurio provides everything from administrative and legal support to accounting support and deal flow capital that allows the agency to come in and create a shared pool of resources for its talent while taking a venture capital approach to protecting their investment.
Metacurio’s transition from startup to a mature player in the industry took only 22 months — a feat that emphasizes the growing interest from investors in the space as well as the need for such services.
In that span of time, Metacurio successfully underwent two capital raises, while also launching and helping facilitate over 20 Web3-based drops and brand integrations including Mike Tyson x Cory Van Lew, Moodies by Hanukkah, Vandals for Ukraine, and Iron Pigeons.
Recent signings to the agency’s growing client roster include Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot and Casey Craig of CoinDesk.
The venture capital approach
By applying a “venture capital” approach to how Metacurio empowers and protects its talent, Hood believes it is essential for talent agencies to provide their roster with the necessary infrastructure and safety net to protect them from industry exploitation, while simultaneously bringing capital to the table that provides them with long-term equity and a healthy “exit.”
“Think about guys like Scooter Braun and everything he’s done with Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande — he’s been highly influential in their careers,” said Hood. “But, I don’t think there’s anyone that’s helping individuals in Web3 like that.”
It’s for this reason Hood differs in his methodologies when choosing to deploy capital, choosing to bet on the potential of people — specifically, the founders of these underlying startups.
I think a lot of people in traditional entertainment take a risk coming over to Web3,” continued Hood. “I’ve been in this space for over a decade. You have to be in the game a while to understand that there are landmines in a new economy, and the question you have to ask is how to navigate those while protecting your client.”
Hood believes the fundamental flaw lies in the questions not being asked, where a brand or talent enters Web3 with the purpose of creating avenues for people that serve as the entry point, rather than a desire to profit off of an overly promoted project drop.
“I’m a firm believer in ‘no,’” remarked Hood. “I think a lot of creators will just take checks, and they’re just saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity – but they’re actually never building any brand value because they begin to dilute their own credibility in return for short-term financial gains. I’m looking at this, I’m saying ‘no’ every day to all kinds of opportunities for the people we work with, because it doesn’t create long-term value.”